Digital platforms are all the rage. Most of us use them all day long, and at times of crisis, they matter all the more. But that inherent value that scale brings comes with a downside: platforms can become so big that they monopolize a sector. Having fended off all of their competitors, the resulting platform winner can raise prices, degrade service, skimp on data security, or otherwise perform worse than it would if it faced competitive pressures.
This white paper offers some answers to the question of where our antitrust agencies should start as they tackle the competition issues posed by large digital platforms. Specifically, we identify characteristics of ones that raise significant competition policy concerns. This paper hopes to inform the discussion about when digital platforms and their conduct should face scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission, the Antitrust Division at the Department of Justice, and state attorneys general.